Space Flight going Private
In-Class Activity 2_Space Issues
Julia Kahmann-Robinson PhD and Marjorie Chan PhD, University of Utah Department of Geology & Geophysics
Become aware of private companies pursuing space flight and their role with our outside of NASA's Mission directorate.
Be ready to facilitate a discussion and have talking points outlined. Suggested questions are below.
Dragon docking with the ISS
Present students the following video of Space X's Dragon spacecraft docking with the ISS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwDCWTqNceQ&feature=player_embedded
- This is the first privatized space-flight in history
- Ask students what they think of this venture
Lead a discussion of Privatization vs. Government-funded research in Space
- What is the history of privatization?
- What are the pros and cons of private companies taking over the space program?
- Share the Space X video and announcement of their award to continue on manned-space flight
- Press release Aug 3, 2012: http://www.spacex.com/press.php?page=20120803
To compare NASA's budget with other federal government agencies and/or privately funded corporations see the following website:
Space X's Mars Business Model
- How realistic do students think this business model is?
- Do student agree with the business model?
In a Group setting:
- Decide as a group if privatization is a good route to pursue for space research and flight.
- Groups should be ready to defend their position.